2020-2021 FAFSA PDF RELEASED

The 2020-2021 FAFSA PDF is here. The 2020-2021 FAFSA cycle began on Oct. 1 and the application is available for students and families to complete until June 30, 2021. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid process. Students use the FAFSA to apply for federal student aid, such as grants, work-study, and loans. In addition, most states and colleges use information from the FAFSA to award nonfederal aid. FSA is pushing students to apply as early as possible, since some funds are limited, particularly funding from state aid programs which students also apply for through the FAFSA. Be sure to remind your students that some funds are limited, so it’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible

2018-2019 GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT REPORTING DEADLINE

If you were one of the institutions that chose not to implement the rescinded Gainful Employment rules early, you must still comply with the 2014 GE rules. As such, these institutions must report GE data to NSLDS by October 1, 2019. Everyone else, can relax. For more info about the 2018-2019 Gainful Employment Reporting Deadline, check out Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement 123.

NEASC-CIHE IS NOW NECHE

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE) is now the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). NECHE has taken on the functions formerly performed by the CIHE. The move follows concerns raised by officials last year that the NEASC’s Commission on Higher Education wasn’t a “separate and independent” organization as required by ED. Now NECHE will function as an independent organization, fulfilling the federal requirements.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE 2019-2020 FAFSA

The 2019-2020 FAFSA launches on October 1, 2018. 2019-2020 FAFSA applicants will be required to provide their 2017 tax year information on the form. This year, applicants will have two ways to complete the form online by either completing the application at FAFSA.gov or by using the new myStudentAid app to complete the form right form their smart phone. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is reportedly ready to go for the 2019-2020 year too, so, we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that this year, it all works as expected.

ED SECRETARY DELAYS DECISION ON ACICS

In July, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos granted the Senior Department Official an extension to review and respond to a trove of documents related to ACICS’ petition for continued recognition as U.S. Department of Education accreditor. Secretary DeVos granted the extension after the SDO requested it. The SDO has been given until September 4, 2018 to file the response. You can read the memo from ED on ACICS website here.

COD SYSTEM PEAK PROCESSING REMINDERS

Did you know that the Common Origination and Disbursement System’s heaviest processing days are on Monday’s and Tuesdays? During most times of the year, the system runs well, however during peak processing periods batch processing may take longer than usual. We’re entering another peak processing period as schools simultaneously close out old program years, disburse summer aid and gear up for the upcoming school year and begin originating aid. FSA recommends that schools that have the flexibility to process aid on another day, do so.

TEACH GRANT EXIT COUNSELING MOVES TO STUDENT LOAN WEBSITE

Beginning on June 15-17, 2018, Federal Student Aid will move the TEACH Grant Exit counseling module from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) Student Access website to the StudentLoans.gov website. As part of the implementation, Counseling reporting functions will move from the NSLDS Professional Access website to the COD Web Site. For more information about this transition including the impact on borrowers and schools, check out this helpful summary provided by Federal Student Aid.

NY BUREAU OF PROPRIETARY SCHOOL SERVICES BANS ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS

ICYMI – The New York Education Department Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision has issued a ruling banning, arbitration clauses on proprietary and career training school enrollment agreements as well as financing plans extended by schools. The ruling includes conditions under which “permissive, post-dispute arbitration may be approved.”